Immigration Agencies Will Start Running Out Of Money Soon, Congress Warned


The Obama administration again ramped up its estimates of the child migrant crisis at the southwest border, predicting as many as 90,000 unaccompanied minors could be apprehended before the end of this fiscal year Sept 30, a more than three-fold increase over 2013, Politico reports. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the resulting strain is such that immigration agencies will begin to run out of money in mid-August without some infusion of funds from Congress. He cautioned lawmakers against insisting on wholesale changes in a 2008 statute protecting the children, which he called a law reflecting “fundamental values and commitments of this country that we should continue to adhere to.”

Republicans remained unconvinced, saying the White House was offering “pie in the sky” and had been too slow to respond to the crisis. Administration officials conceded that only about 1800 of the unaccompanied child migrants are deported each year and 46 percent of juveniles failed to show up when summoned later by the immigration courts. Johnson said that with the resources requested by President Obama this week, the situation can be turned around. And once the U.S. begins to return a significant number of the children to Central America, it will convince families to no longer pay smugglers to bring the minors across Mexico to the Rio Grande. “People in Central America need to see illegal migrants coming back,” Johnson said. “We have to return people … They need to see people coming back, that they wasted their money.”

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